PARKERSBURG -A carryout stand offering Philippine cuisine is making a name of itself in Parkersburg.
Philippines Best Food Carry Out on Bryant Street has been open for almost two months and is quickly gaining a following among customers.
Joe Matias and Mike Kelley were enjoying lunch at a table outside the carry out last week. Matias said he heard about the place about a week and a half ago.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Ellen Lubuguin, owner of Philippines Best Food Carry Out, chats with customers Joe Matias and Mike Kelley while they eat lunch. Philippines Best Food Carry Out on Bryant Street has been open for almost two months and is quickly gaining a following among customers.
How many times had he eaten lunch there since?
"Three," he said smiling.
The carry out is owned by Ellen Lubuguin (pronounced Lu-Boo-ginn). She also works at and owns the adjacent hair styling shop.
She is no stranger to the area, Lubuguin said she's been a hairdresser in the Mid-Ohio Valley for 25 years. Lubuguin said there are many in the area who were in the military or lived on the West Coast and are familiar with Philippine food.
"We want to introduce our food."
Lubuguin said they started the family-owned and operated business as a way to get some extra work while her husband recovers from a work-related injury.
The place used to be an Asian Market, but closed about 12 years ago and was used as a storage building. Lubuguin said they had an opportunity to purchase some industrial kitchen equipment from an area restaurant that closed last year.
The takeout has been open for almost two months, relying on word of mouth, handing out menus and Facebook.
Lubuguin said Philippine food is a mixture of Pacific Rim cultures including Japanese, Korean and Chinese. She said there's also Spanish influence.
The takeout features chicken, pork and beef, pancit noodles, rice and egg rolls. Lubuguin said noodles are a Philippine staple.
"They are always on the table," she said. "They represent a long life."
The carryout runs a $5 daily lunch special, that includes a drink.
"So they can taste it and see what they like," she said.
"There's enough food for two," Kelley said of his lunch special.
Lubuguin said the food can be spicy, but flavorful.
"Everything is made fresh," she added. "There is no food sitting out."
The family also does summer concession business, at fairs and festivals, such as the Multi-Cultural Festival.
Lubuguin said they are worried about getting too big.
However, if the takeout is successful, Lubuguin said they plan to expand to a sit down dining room.
Philippines Best Food Carry Out is located at 1757 Bryant St., just off Seventh Street, across from the Dairy Queen.
The store is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Lubuguin said customers can call ahead (304-615-9122) or order at the counter.